Achalasia is a rare form of the disease that impairs the esophagus tube. The esophagus is a tube, responsible for pushing food down to stomach from the throat. The esophagus can have an adverse impact on lower esophageal sphincter (LES) causing trouble or absolute failure while swallowing. In such a condition, LES doesn’t open while swallowing food, which is its a key function. Although, it occurs in elders ranging from 25-60 years of age, however, it can occur to anyone; even to children.
Causes of achalasia:
Even after various studies about the achalasia, the exact causes are still not known. Though, it is said that it can be caused due to rare inherited conditions, or it may be a side effect of auto-immune diseases. There are diverse reasons for the occurrence of achalasia. The most profound one is the degeneration of nerves in the esophagus, meaning when your immune system deliberately attacks healthy cells in the body, In fact, this can further lead to severe achalasia and other related diseases.
Signs of achalasia:
The symptoms of achalasia last for more than several months, and sometimes years as well. The most prominent symptom is the problem in swallowing which can lead to malnutrition, and unexpected weight loss as well. The symptoms can cause a problem in breathing, choking on food also. The other possible signs are:
- Feeling of discomfort or pain in your chest
- Regurgitation of undigested food and in severe conditions of liquids as well.
- Difficulty in burping
How to diagnose the achalasia?
Well, the achalasia may be confused with the hernia or other gastroesophageal reflux diseases due to the presence of common symptoms. Therefore, the diagnosis of achalasia can be difficult. However, the doctor may suspect achalasia when you may face trouble swallowing both the solids as well as liquids. It can be tested by using an esophageal nanometer. The esophageal nanometer is a tube that’s inserted in your esophagus while you swallow. The tube is directed to record the level of muscle activity and thereby helps in ascertaining if the esophagus is working properly.
The other technique involves performing endoscopy. In this technique, a small camera is placed with a tube into your esophagus to examine the condition thoroughly. Moreover, X-rays can be conducted to help in diagnosing the condition in a better way. Sometimes, your doctor may also ask for a barium swallow test.
How is achalasia treated?
In severe cases, surgery is performed to heal the disease. In most cases of achalasia, LES needs to be repaired or treated. Initially, your doctor may opt for pneumatic dilation procedure, in which a balloon is inserted in your esophagus and then it’s inflated. As a result, it widens the sphincter by stretching it, leading to better functioning of esophagus. If in case dilation tears the sphincter, then additional surgery would be needed to resolve it.
Surgeons performing achalasia surgery in greater Kailash commonly performs Esophagomyotomy. It is a surgery small or large incisions are made to access sphincter and then alter it for better flow of food into the stomach. It is highly successful surgery.
But for patients who are not right candidates for either of the above surgery, doctors engaged in achalasia cardia treatment in Delhi says that then the last resort is to use botox. Your doctor will tell you to use botox to calm the sphincter. It is generally injected through the endoscope into your sphincter. And still if nothing world’s then calcium or nitrates channel blockers are given for ease in food passing from throat to stomach.
It is observed that more than 95% of people get relieved after surgery. However, there may be certain complications such as- acid reflux and other respiratory problems. Sometimes if results are not witnessed in a single surgery, then leading achalasia treatment surgeon in Delhi suggests that multiple surgeries need to be undertaken.